If you don’t know by now you should know by now I love street photography as much as I do pro wrestling or what it’s called today aka Sports Entertainment. I have a deep respect and appreciation for WWE’s CEO Vince McMahon who is the mastermind in making wrestling what it is today on a global scale. The ole’ man is 70 years old and can outwork any millennial today and that is why Vince is where he is at STILL today. There are many things you can learn from Vince McMahon that can help you become a better street photographer.
You gotta outwork your opponents, your rivals, your colleagues if you want to be a step above. Vince rarely gets any sleep and is very hands on and ingrained in every process of the business from producing the Live events, to talent relations, to sales and overall branding of the company. The needle still moves at the helm of Vince’s approval. Even though WWE is a monopoly in the world of sports entertainment, Vince is still not satisfied and that I have a lot of respect for.
So in your street photography approach, don’t get complacent. Out work everyone by challenging yourself in your photography, push limits, and shoot all day when you can (the street photography gods will reward you).
Be A Creator
The world we live in today is about creating engaging content at an expedient rate. Vince McMahon and the WWE was doing this for decades and all wrestling fans take it for granted (RAW is the longest running drama on TV). If there’s one thing I’ve personally took to heart from Vince is to be a creator. Create content, create stories that’ll move people and have them talking forever, create personalities that people wish they could be or act out in public.
In this day and age, you can’t just take photos and be satisfied with that. The internet and social media is flooded with street photographs and if you want to stand out you need to provide something above and beyond. If you want to let your photos do the talking that’s fine as well but it’ll probably only reach within the street photography community and nothing more than that. You can’t just be a good photographer anymore, you need to provide something on top of that, maybe it’s being a great photographer and educator through your workshops, or a great photographer with an interesting personality so perhaps vlogging is the way to go. Whatever the case may be…taking photos and posting them is not good enough. Just like being a great wrestling technician in today’s world is not good enough, you need to be able to connect with the audience and so do you as a street photographer. You are unique. Figure out what makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Do What’s Best For Business
Always do what’s best for business as Vince would say. If it makes money and if it’s what the people want then give it to them. Put your ego to the side and make something happen and everyone can walk away happy. Working with crazy personalities with the day to day grind on the athletes, Vince has had many falling outs (and lawsuits). However, at the end of the day if the deal is right regardless of what happened in the past, put it off to the side and make it work if it’s best for you and your company.
For you as a street photographer, always do what’s best for you. Now you may just be a casual shooter and not necessarily a business but do what’s going to propel you as a street photographer. Take workshops. Buy photo books. Network. Travel. Be spontaneous. And at the end of the day leave your ego at the door.
Back in the 1970’s wrestling felt “Real”, it looked “Real”. And no one really knew. Then came the 1980’s when Vince fully inherited WWE after the passing of his father. Vince had a vision and wanted to make wrestling more on a global scale, back in the 1970s it was just in small territories, down in the south, up in New York, in Japan, etc, so the exposure wasn’t all there. Vince had a different vision for wrestling and saw it more as entertainment, creating lively and colorful characters that resonated with kids ultimately changed the direction of wrestling forever.
Then came the 1990’s. Culture was different, Music was different. Many things have changed in society and wrestling had to evolve as well…which was the birth of the Attitude Era (the most popular era in wrestling). Then the mid-2000s was the Ruthless Aggression Era. Through these waves of changes Vince was able to sustain it all and adapt, innovate and reinvent the wheel.
In your street photography, if you’re used to shooting up close Bruce Gilden style then try go a bit wider and incorporate lines and geometry like Henri Cartier Bresson. Always experiment with different focal lengths, subjects, and how you post-process your photos.
Grab The Brass Ring
Vince is always preaching to his superstars to grab the brass ring. Take charge and be the leader that company can rely on. The Hulk Hogan’s, The Rock’s, The Stone Cold’s, The John Cena’s….Guys that can carry the company into a promising future.
Although street photography has spiked in popularity within the past several years..it’s still a fairly a new subject matter that most of the general public do not know about. There’s still a window of opportunity to influence the genre through your work and/or be the street photographer advocate similar to what Eric Kim has been for the genre.
Keep in mind everything has been done at least once before, however, if you can grab a piece from this photographer and a piece from that photographer and really mold it into your old by adding your final touch you will have something that will breathe for a long time.
If you need to empower yourself go subscribe to the WWE Network for only $9.99. Jokes aside, I hope this article can help you move your street photography forward.